Act III of The Crucible is the most exciting act of the play. It keeps the audiences on the edge of their seats, gets them laughing and crying. The Crucible has a lot of influences. One of these is the actual events that took place in Salem in 1692, this makes the audience more interested as they can learn something about the past. Another influence is the 1950s McCarthy ‘witch-hunt’ that was going on when the play was first written and performed. This means that the audience can empathise with the characters to a certain extent. In the first two acts, accusations of witchcraft slowly become more serious.
At first Abigail is only in a small about of trouble for dancing in the woods, but when her uncle suspects witchery she starts throwing accusations of witchcraft at innocent people. The audience start to see Abigail and the other girls as the ‘Baddies’ and John seems to be a ‘Good Guy’. We also find out that John had an affair with Abigail; this brings a sense of sexual tension to the play. John’s wife, Elizabeth, gets arrested, leaving the audience wondering whether or not she will get hanged! Just before Act III begins, there is an interval.
This will give the audience time to think about what they have just seen and to speculate about what will happen next. A great deal of suspense is built and the audience are excited before the action has begun. There is additional suspense when the curtain rises and there is an empty stage, which is the side room to the general court. The audience will be silent and intrigued by the voices they can hear. They will also have to work out who is saying what. The audience will be tense and waiting for action, this makes it even more exciting when Giles is dragged on stage.
This is when the ‘battle’ between the two teams begins. The whole of Act III is a struggle between two groups of characters. The ‘Goodies’, lead by John, are the team that the audience want to win. They are up against the ‘Baddies’, lead by Abigail. John knows that Abigail is lying and she wants Elizabeth out of the way. John is fighting to save his wife and friends; the audience know that John is doing the right thing. The audience will get excited when John’s team are winning; this makes Act III especially interesting. The audience want Abigail to loose, as she is killing innocent people.
The judges should be neutral in this ‘battle’, however, they do appear to be on the ‘Baddies’ side at most times. This makes it harder for the ‘Goodies’ to win, and this makes the audience even more eager for them to triumph. The audience are kept on the edge of their seats throughout the act; there are times when the ‘Goodies’ appear to be winning and times when it seems the ‘Baddies’ are in the lead. A graph showing the ups and downs of the ‘battle’ is attached. The battle begins with a very simple, but also rather crucial, statement from Francis: “The girls are frauds.
” The audience know that this is true, but some of the characters on stage do not. The audience are hoping that Danforth and Hathorne will realise that the girls are fake. They are relying on Mary to give evidence, but the judges do not want to hear it; the audience are disappointed by this. But when Hale says, “I think we must hear the girl,” the audience are exited for the characters and will start to think the Hale might be one of the ‘Goodies’. Unfortunately, none of the others believe what Mary has to say. Things aren’t looking too good for the ‘Goodies’, and the audience are egging them on.